November 13, 2016 3 min read 1 Comment
Known as soccer cleats in the United States and Canada or football boots in Europe, it is important to keep your soccer footwear clean and dry when off the field.
In years gone by, the young soccer players from the youth teams were in charge of cleaning the soccer cleats of the veterans players at professional soccer clubs. Today, things are a lot different as it is typically done by an equipment manager. However, youth, high school and college players aren't as lucky. They need to clean their soccer cleats themselves to keep them looking great and lasting the length of a soccer season.
So, why do you need to clean your cleats?
Firstly, soccer cleats are expensive these days. Truthfully, they always have been, but with names like Messi or Ronaldo endorsing shoes from Adidas and Nike, they have become far more costly to amateur players and parents.
Secondly, by allowing odor, sweat, water and mud to penetrate the cleat without being treated, the shoe will fall apart far quicker. Poor care of a pair of soccer cleats can see them wear out sooner than if they are properly maintained. Cracked leather or the upper pulling away from the sole are just two of the problems you may experience if your cleats aren't taken care of.
So, how do you keep your soccer cleats supple, soft and looking great on a soccer field?
Many soccer fields or complexes will have a stationary cleat or boot cleaner on the side of the pitch. Players can use these to get some of the loose mud, dirt, grass or astroturf bits off soccer cleats. However, not everyone has access to a proper cleaner. Which means you will need to do it by hand.
After playing a match or finishing practice, it is important to loosen the soccer cleat's laces before removing. Players all over the world just kick them off the heel using the toe of their opposite foot. However, this is a terrible thing to do as the soccer cleat will stretch out and it can cause you ankle ligament damage.
Always loosen the laces and remove the soccer cleat by hand. It may take a few seconds longer, but it is worth it in the end.
Once the soccer cleats have been removed, knock them together to remove any large chunks of mud or dirt. After that, take a stiff brush to brush away anymore pieces of earth that may be hard to remove. Use a toothbrush with natural bristles, and never use a brush with bristles made from wire.
Next, take a damp cloth and wipe the soccer cleats down. Make sure you get all over, getting any foreign substance off of them. Experts say to never use a cleaning product to get your soccer cleats clean. This can cause problems with the material that make up the shoes.
It is important that you never put your cleats by a heater to dry them. This can cause the leather and other material to crack and wear out quickly. Let the soccer cleats dry naturally. To get the inside of the cleats dry, place old newspaper in them. This will draw out the moisture.
There are plenty of odor eliminating products out there, too. However, a simple odor fighter is baking soda, which can be purchased at supermarkets for a fraction of the price.
Finally, some players like to polish their soccer cleats after they have been cleaned. However, it is getting more and more difficult to find classic black soccer cleats these days. So, polishing your green Messi boots or pink Ronaldo shoes may not be possible.
Now that you have clean soccer cleats, you are ready to take to the field and shoot, pass or score.
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